Title : Automation in Halaal Food Production - Imam Qamrul Khanson

: Admin | : 2020-02-15


Today, there are 7.7 billion people and if it was not the innovative mass production technologies, feeding the population across the globe would have been an immense task resulting in failures in most places. The same situation would apply to the Muslim populations where larger quantities of food are required for the mass supplies and feeding. A situation like of Hajj congregation, Muslim populations in in Non-Muslim regions and Muslims in remote areas of the world would not only seek longer shelf life in the product but mass produced for them by meeting all the credentials Islamic requirements as per The-Qur'an and Ahadith Mohammad (PBUH). Today, we shall talk some of such facilitations to understand how the Halaal Food Specialists meet the physical and theological requirements in meeting the Halaal Food Production. 

It is important to know and learn that a person like me and many others who are responsible for the Halaal Certification do it only by remaining within the periphery of Islamic law. That is within The-Qur'an and Ahadith Sahih. So none of us should listen to the rumors and it is the duty of Muslims like me and you to ascertain the truth. With all seven principles of Halaal implemented by us according to The-Qur'an and Ahadith Mohammad (PBUH), there is no difference between Muslim-person operated Machine Halaal Slaughtering and Hand-held knife slaughtering with Tasmiah Takbeer by live Muslims reciting in continuation without fail.  

The – Qur'an:

"He has only forbidden you what dies of itself and blood and flesh of swine and that over which any other name than that of (Almighty) Alloh has been invoked, but whoever is driven to necessity, not desiring nor exceeding the limit, then surely (Almighty) Alloh is Forgiving, Merciful. And for what your tongues describe, do not utter the lie, (saying) this is lawful and this unlawful, in order to forge a lie against (Almighty) Alloh; surely those who forge the lie against (Almighty) Alloh shall not prosper" {The Qur'an – Surah Al Nahl (Chapter: The Honeybee) 16: 115 - 116}.

"Therefore eat of that on which (Almighty) Alloh's name has been pronounced if you are believers in His communications. And what reason have you that you should not eat of that on which (Almighty) Alloh's name has been mentioned, and He has already made plain to you what He has forbidden to you excepting what you are compelled to; and most surely many would lead (people) astray by their low desires out of ignorance; surely your Lord (Almighty Alloh) best knows those who exceed the limits.' 'And do not eat of that on which (Almighty) Alloh's name has not been mentioned, and that is most surely a transgression; and most surely the Shayateen (Satan (s)) suggest to their friends that they should contend with you; and if you obey them, you shall most surely be polytheists" {The Qur'an – Surah Al An'aam (Chapter: The Cattle) 06: 118 119, 121}.

Points to be noted in Halaal Machine Slaughtering: The seven steps and principles would not allow any Haraam in the Halaal food chain. The steps are as follows:

Step: 01 – No dead Zabeeha birds or animals are ever allowed and thrown away as waste by tagging as Dead on Arrival (DOA). This is very first important principle in Haraam Hazard Critical Control Point (HHCCP).

Step: 02 - The stunning of the poultry after the DOA cull-out is needed as per the recommendation of Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). CFIA has a special program for us Canadians Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) which came into force on January 15, 2019. The CHFCA protocol requires that the Zabeeha birds could be stunned with minimum acceptable range permitted by CFIA to remove sensitivity so that the live birds are slaughtered without pain. In the automation, a rotary blade Halaal Slaughtering with eligible Muslims standing to recite Tasmiah Takbeer so that the birds are slaughtered while physically and clinically alive with heart beats still pumping the blood.

Stunning of the Zabeeha birds:

Stunning of poultry before the slaughter is the most sought humane treatment of Zabeeha bird or animal in the North American society.  The standard in modern poultry processing plants in the North America is to render birds insensible—that is, unconscious and incapable of feeling pain—prior to slaughter. Before committing to the process of Halaal, there are two processes which cover the modern requirement of mass production as well as what had been permitted in the past Islamic traditions. Invoking the name of God at the moment of shooting a bird in a game / hunting process or invoking the name of God while putting Zabeeha birds/animals into the tray/container even before stunning and Halaal process can be interpreted as acknowledgment of God's right over all things and thanking God for the sustenance Almighty provides: it is a sign that the food is taken to fetch the food for the sustainability of life with a praise Alloh. 

Very little is known to the public especially we Muslims when it comes to the stunning of the Zabeeha birds/animals to remove sensitivity in order to make them feel lesser pain or no pain at all. Like in hunting games, we use a weapon to subdue Zabeeha bird/animal and similarly we use stunning to subdue Zabeeha bird/animal though Islamic requirements differ in making a Halaal output from it. In hunting, before shooting a Zabeeha target, reciting Bismillahi Allohu Akbar upon the arrow or a hunting bullet, as long as it pierces to ooze out blood makes the Zabeeha target Halaal as food.

The case of stunning to subdue Zabeeha bird/animal is totally different as no skin piercing is targeted rather a process is applied by which minimum possible pain or no pain at all is the purpose of stunning and during the time of Halaal processing. Meaning, during the slaughtering process, the Zabeeha target does not feel sensitivity to the process of Halaal where fluid is shed from the body of the bird. The permitted mode of stunning from the government of Canada is of two types: 1) Electrical dip-n-water stunning 2) Controlled Atmospheric Stunning. 1) In electrical dip-n-water stunning 12 DC + 60 AC waves are merged in the water which makes the bird insensitive. This is the process most Halaal Chicken producers use it.

2) CAS is a name for the use of carbon dioxide or argon gas as part of the Halal slaughtering process of chickens or other poultry for the production of human food. Providing a poultry meat without fractured bones, without red spots and better tenderness is most sought in the industry.


The process of stunning before the slaughtering of Zabeeha bird or animal is the part of humane process by which a processor meets the requirements of Inspection agencies in the North American food processing industry. The Controlled Atmosphere Stunning (CAS) is a prospective process for the Halal Slaughtering of Zabeeha bird but requires a lot better controlled process by which birds are subjected to the instant insensitiveness without any chances of death or strangulation prior to the slaughtering.

For the purpose, a low pressure use of one or more of mixed stunning legal gasses could be formulated in such a way that it renders the birds stunned with immediate Halal Slaughtering to ooze/drain the blood fluid out in completion. When such a protocol is formulated and proven to be consistently maintained, it would still be a process of Halal slaughtering of the poultry without any counter claims of unethical practice from the Islamic point of view.

However, CAS is categorically acceptable with a condition that the birds do not die and the birds do not die and the birds should be slaughtered within a minute or so as bird under CAS live up for the next four minutes and may or may not rejuvenate to life later.